ICHIBUNS, the new Japanese-inspired dining concept, launch their first restaurant on Wardour Street in the heart of London’s Soho this month. Redefining the “fast casual food industry”, the new restaurant offers an exciting menu to include a selection of Hokkaido-inspired cuisine, the ultimate in luxury Wagyu beef burger, and a selection of exciting cocktails.
Spinach Design were responsible for developing Robin Leigh’s vision of an “amazing, out of this world” brand. Having defined the brand concept, the London design and branding studio created an identity that reflects the eclectic, energetic and cool, yet crazy personality of the brand. An essential objective for Spinach has been to ensure that the restaurant’s interiors, food and drinks menus, vehicle design, uniforms, bespoke packaging and digital offering, seamlessly and perfectly work together to give an authentic customer experience.
During an intensive 18-month project, Spinach worked closely with the visionary restaurateurs – founders of Nobu, Busaba Ethai and Ping Pong – to envisage and implement the new brand. The team also worked alongside Noriyoshi Muramatsu, founder of Tokyo’s Studio Glitt, the design force behind restaurant group Roka and Zuma.
The ICHIBUNS name is a play on the Japanese term “ichiban”, as in “number one”. The interior pays homage to the Shōwa era, a fascinating time credited for the renovation of post-war creativity and the acceptance of American music and culture. This vision has produced a striking celebration of authentic memorabilia that features throughout the venue.
Stepping inside the three-story restaurant, customers are immersed in the eclectic Tokyo rock ‘n’ roll interior inspired by 1950s and 60s Japanese subcultures and the quintessential American diner, so walls are lined in a variety of Japanese ephemera including Manga comics, old newspapers and fishing flags.
Creative Director Adam Thomas comments: “The branding process is usually about refining a whole host of influences into a visual and verbal identity. The strength and vibrancy of the ICHIBUNS brand, however, lies in the fact we haven’t filtered anything out. Hokkaido, Tokyo Rockabillies, Japanese pop art, anime, kawaii, J-Pop… these are the elements that come together to create the ICHIBUNS experience.”
Branding Director, Leigh Banks adds: “We just wanted to give the experience a unique mark of authenticity. It is a fantastic name and concept that will go global – so a vibrant, versatile and timeless brand identity was essential.”
Source: Spinach Design